A long-standing member of AlternateHistory.com who first joined in August 2003, and was one of the charter members of the New Board which debuted in early 2004, robertp6165 was originally a native of Georgia, lived in Phoenix, Arizona until December 2010, and since moved to South Carolina. He passed away in September 2012.
His interest in alternate history began in the 1970s, when he first encountered, in his elementary school library, a book by MacKinley Kantor entitled IF THE SOUTH HAD WON THE CIVIL WAR. Later, in the 1990s, he discovered alternate history on the internet, and soon after that, the works of Harry Turtledove. From there, he was hooked. After discovering it a few years later, AH.com became the drug of choice by which he feeds his alternate history addiction.
Reading various internet timelines of the Civil War inspired him to attempt his first timeline, THE BLACK AND THE GRAY, which explored what might have happened if the Cleburne Memorial had lead to the passage of a black recruitment law by the Confederacy in early 1864, instead of early 1865 as happened in OTL. This opened the floodgates, and robertp6165 has authored many other timelines since then.
RobertP6165 has become known on the board for his support of the Confederate States. His support for the Confederacy stems from his paleoconservative view that the Union victory in the Civil War was the watershed event which removed the only restraint on the accumulation of power by the Federal Government…the right of secession…and, thus, both directly and indirectly, lead to the intrusion of the Federal Government into nearly every aspect of our lives which we see today. He also has argued that race relations in this country would have been better if slavery had been allowed to die a natural death rather than being ended by force of arms, and that a Confederate victory might have been preferable in that regard.
Robertp6165's views on the Confederacy and the Civil War have led to savage personal attacks against him through the years by various pro-Unionist trolls on the board. He has also become a stock character in various fictional stories posted by various other members, normally in the guise of a deranged and rabidly Confederate buffoon. Robertp6165 has a good sense of humor, though, and instead of allowing such things to bother him, he often played “Devil's Advocate.” In that vein, for a while, he decided to adopt the user title “Resident Confederate Apologist,” and later, “Confederate Troll.” However, because he has better things to do with his time than feed the pro-Unionist trolls on the board, he seldom commented in more recent years on threads related to slavery or the Civil War.
Robertp6165 was briefly banned in January 2010, as a result of a comment he made in a Political Chat thread discussing the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Ian misinterpreted this comment as “advocating mass murder” and banned robertp6165 under forum rules forbidding such comments. However, robertp6165 was reinstated a few days later after he and Ian discussed the issue and robertp6165 explained his comment to Ian's satisfaction. Many other board members came to the defense of robertp6165 during this period, and he is grateful to know he has so many friends and such a high level of respect on this board. To all who did so, he wishes to express his thanks.
RobertP6165 was the primary creator of the Turtledove Awards. He created the various award categories and the requirements for the award which have been used, with modifications, each year, and was, with Scarecrow, the designer of the original award graphic (Scarecrow designed the actual Turtledove trophy part of the graphic, while RobertP6165 did everything else)which was presented to the winners each year until 2012, when it was finally replaced by a new version. He also, up through 2007, served as the moderator who set up the election polls for the awards.
On the 6th September 2012, AH.com was shaken by news of Robert's sudden death that happened just that day. The members promptly gave their condolences to his wife and family. With Robert's untimely departure, we have lost both a founding member and a good, prolific, friendly writer. May his body and soul find peace.
His obituary can be seen here.
The Robert P. Perkins Award for Outstanding Contributions to Alternate History was created in his honor, and the 2013 award was awarded to him posthumously.
Ironically, despite his reputation as the board's pre-eminent “neo-Confederate,” his primary contributions to the board have had little to do with the American Civil War. Instead, the timelines written by robertp6165 which have become most famous among other board members have been set in ancient and medieval times, such as his Ancient Egyptian, Hittite, Inca and Arthurian timelines, as well as his ongoing ASB project based on Horatio Nelson and the H.M.S. VICTORY being transported to Anglo Saxon England.
In AH.com Enterprise, the captain's gig of the MES-2 Uchronia is named (The) Perkins, in his honour. The spacecraft is a “Tawantinsuyu-Saxon class” vessel, in reference to the late, great Robert's two most popular timelines.